Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has heavily criticised Royal Challengers Banglaore for sending AB de Villiers to bat in the 17th over against KXIP on Thursday in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
Opting to bat in Sharjah, Royal Challengers Bangalore set the target of 172 runs at the loss of six wickets. In reply, Kings XI Punjab chased down in the last ball of the innings by hitting a six.
While reviewing the match between RCB and KXIP, the renowned commentator started by questioning RCB’s strategy to send AB de Villiers down the order to shield him against leg-spinners.
“Where was AB de Villiers. He was not sent, he was being shielded against the leg-spinners. Is that the right thing to do?”
Chopra explained that de Villiers played a fiery knock on the same ground in the last encounter when everyone was struggling to score runs. So, as per him, he didn’t find any logic to send the proteas to bat even after Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube.
“I mean they kept AB de Villiers in the dugout till probably the 17th over, a player who was in a different league altogether in the last match when everyone else was struggling.”
Aakash Chopra on consequences of sending AB de Villiers down at the down order:
Aakash Chopra acknowledged that de Villiers struggled against leg-spinner but sending him down the batting order led RCB ended up 20-25 runs short in their final total.
“AB de Villiers has been dismissed by leg-spinners few times, he has an average of something like 6-6.5 against the googly and has been out 7 times, so just because of the numbers sending him so low down in the batting order meant that RCB ended up 20-25 runs short.
The former cricketer added that the RCB lower-order power-hitting in the last over tells that the target could have been 180-190 if they had followed the right batting order. At last, he reiterates that it was not the right strategy to send AB de Villiers down the order.
“You may have reached a score of 171 at the end but that was never going to be enough. You managed to score 24 runs in the last over, so you reached that score but if 24 runs can be scored in the last over means that this pitch was maybe not 200, but a 185-190 sort of pitch with the kind of batting that Bangalore has.”
“So, according to me this strategy to hold AB de Villiers back just did not work out,” Aakash Chopra added.
AB de Villiers was out after scoring a couple of runs. Chris Morris’s power-hitting at the end helped RCB post 171 runs on the board.